Public exhibition for updated Mount Oswald development plans

April 24, 2012 | Mt Oswald News

Updated proposals for the development of the Mount Oswald Golf Club site in Durham City are set to go on show at a public exhibition next week.

In September last year, the Meadowfield-based Banks Group revealed new plans for the site which include executive housing, high-quality student accommodation which would be located adjacent to Van Mildert College, and a significant amount of new public open spaces. 

Since then, a wide-ranging community engagement process has taken place through which Banks has gathered feedback from local people, organisations and statutory consultees which has been utilised in the continuing development of the planning application. 

Local people will now be able to examine these more detailed plans between 3pm and 7pm on Monday 30 April at the Lindisfarne Centre in St Aidan’s College on Windmill Hill. 

Representatives of Banks Property will be on hand at the event to answer any questions visitors have about the scheme, and especially about the sorts of community facilities, such as a small retail outlet, nursery, small offices or community centre, that could be incorporated into the final planning application that will go to the county council for consideration later this year. 

If approved, the scheme would support around 220 local jobs, with around 120 people employed on site during the construction phase of the scheme, and a further 100 jobs across the supply chain.

Opportunities for further local job creation could follow from the development of these new facilities, and from the potential conversion of the Mount Oswald manor house into a retirement home or a hotel. 

The new student accommodation has been designed to help to establish more balanced communities in Durham city centre by freeing up properties that are currently occupied by student housing for use by families, young professionals and other groups. 

The development proposals would also open up a significant proportion of the Mount Oswald site to general public use, with a number of natural corridors running through the site opening up into a range of different public spaces, which, along with a network of footpaths, would cover more than 18 acres of land. 

Both formal play spaces and informal open spaces are included in the plan, as well as a community garden, new woodland in the central part of the site which will link up with existing copses and over 3.5 kilometres of new footpaths. 

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at The Banks Group, says: “The information we’ve been able to gather over recent months has been extremely valuable in helping us finalise the design for the Mount Oswald development, and it’s been pleasing to note the significant amount of public support that we’ve come across during this time from all sections of the community.

“This latest exhibition will enable all interested parties to find out more about the detail of our proposals, and will ensure everyone is able to keep fully up to date with the progress that has been made since the plans were first announced. 

“Our scheme represents a very significant investment in the area at a time when few other companies are making this level of commitment, and it would bring with it a host of employment and community benefits that would provide a tangible boost to the local and regional economies. 

“The allowance we have made for student accommodation in the our proposals could help to rebalance the make-up of city centre communities whilst providing students with purpose built, high quality accommodation, which is something that will further enhance the appeal to the highest quality undergraduate and post-graduate students of what is already one of the world’s leading academic institutions.” 

Anyone who is unable to attend the 30 April exhibition, but who would like more information on the new Mount Oswald development proposals can contact the Banks community relations team by calling 0191 378 6100 or emailing mountoswald@banksgroup.co.uk

For further information on the project visit www.banksgroup.co.uk/mount-oswald

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